Lockport on the Erie Canal, New York, United States, 1840.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Steel engraving by William Tombleson showing a lock on the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal was built between 1817 and 1825 to connect the New York City on the Hudson River and Lake Erie at Buffalo. The 363-mile-long canal was regarded as one of the engineering marvels of its time, featuring 18 aqueducts, 83 locks and an altitude difference of 570 feet between its two ends. The Erie Canal was a great commercial succes, lowering the cost of transporting a ton of cargo between Buffalo and New York City from $90 to $4 within ten years of its opening. Lockport was a series of five locks which raised the canal 50 feet up the Niagara Escarpment near to the Lake Erie end of the canal.